London Euston is the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line - serving Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
St. James Gardens were used as a burial ground between 1790 and 1853.
St. James was opened in 1788 as the new burial ground for St. James’ Piccadilly. It was once rectangular in shape but the building of Euston station, covered the east end of the graveyard.
Edward Walford writing in Old and New London
in the late nineteenth century said: “St. James’s Church, formerly a chapel of ease to the mother church of St. James’s, Piccadilly. It is a large brick building, and has a large, dreary, and ill-kept burial ground attached to it. Here lie George Morland, the painter, who died in 1804; John Hoppner, the portrait-painter, who died in 1810; Admiral Lord Gardner, the hero of Port l’Orient, and the friend of Howe, Bridport and Nelson; and without a memorial, Lord George Gordon, the mad leader of the Anti-Catholic Riots in 1780, who died a prisoner in Newgate in 1793.”
It was closed for burials in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1887 the majority of the monuments and tombstones were removed and St. James opened as a public garden. The open space between the park and the Hampstead Road
was occupied by the London Temperance Hospital:
The land of St. James Gardens was earmarked for the expansion of Euston Station to accommodate the new HS2 high speed rail line and so the gardens closed to the public to allow the exhumation of the 30000-6000 bodies buried across the gardens.
St. James Gardens
Euston was the first inter-city railway station in London. It opened on 20 July 1837 as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway.
The site was selected in the early 1830s by George and Robert Stephenson, engineers of the London and Birmingham Railway. The area was then mostly farmland at the edge of the expanding city of London. The station was named after Euston Hall
in Suffolk, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Grafton, who were the main landowners in the area.
Objections to the station by local farmers meant that, when the Act authorising construction of the line was passed in 1833, the terminus was relocated to Chalk Farm. However, these objections were overcome, and in 1835 an Act authorising construction of the station at its originally planned site was passed, and construction went ahead.
The original station was built by William Cubitt. It was designed by the classically trained architect Philip Hardwick and initially it had only two platforms, one for departures and one for arrivals. Also designed by Hardwick was a 72 foot-high Doric propylaeum, the largest ever built, erected at the entrance as a portico and which became known as the Euston Arch
The station grew rapidly over the following years as traffic increased. It was greatly expanded in the 1840s, with the opening in 1849 of the spectacular Great Hall, designed by Hardwick's son Philip Charles Hardwick in classical style.
In the early 1960s it was decided that a larger station was required. Because of the restricted layout of track and tunnels at the northern end, enlargement could be accomplished only by expanding southwards over the area occupied by the Great Hall and the Arch. Amid much public outcry, the station building including the Arch was demolished in 1961-2 and replaced by a new building. Its opening in 1968 followed the electrification of the West Coast Main Line.
A few remnants of the older station remain: two Portland stone entrance lodges and a war memorial. A statue of Robert Stephenson by Carlo Marochetti, previously in the old ticket hall, stands in the forecourt.
On 12 May 1907 the City and South London Railway (C&SLR, now the Bank branch of the Northern Line) opened a station at Euston as the terminus of a new extension from its existing station at Angel.